" Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Luke 2: 51"
Listen: Mary J. Blige, "Mary, Did You Know?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnZy6TiUbbo
Mary, the mother of Jesus, can be considered the first disciple of Jesus. She was the young woman who said yes to an angel, even though it would change her life forever, even put her life in danger. Early in her pregnancy, she visited her kinswoman, Elizabeth, also pregnant in her old age. Filled with the Holy Spirit at Elizabeth's greeting, she sang what we now often called "the Magnificat," a song heavily based on Hannah's song in 1 Samuel 2: 1-11. Mary knew her scriptures, that is sure.
Other than that, we hear very little from Mary during those critical early days of Jesus' birth. The same is true with Joseph (but we will get to him next week). Their actions speak of their love for God, obedience to his word, even when they didn't understand, and everything seemed to fly in the face of human convention. What a way to begin a new marriage and start a new family! Yet they stepped into the unknown and it changed the course of human history.
There is one particular habit Mary can teach us as we walk our journey to Bethlehem these final weeks of Advent. Twice in Luke 2, Mary is reported to either "ponder" and "treasure." First it was at the message of the shepherds. Next it was the words of 12 year old Jesus, "didn't you know I must be about my Father's business?" Only here does anyone in the New Testament ponder. She considers carefully what the shepherds have said. She treasures their words as she later treasures the words of Jesus. The verb to treasure means to "hoard," "to store," "to preserve." Mary's treasure was the child Jesus -- but her treasure was also the impact he made on other people -- how he changed people's lives -- the shepherds, the scholars of the Law who were astonished by his teaching in the Temple. The testimony of God's goodness; the experience of God's presence -- that is treasure. Her treasure, but she sought to preserve and protect was the way her life was changing because of her Son, Jesus.
It would do well to follow Mary's example as a disciple. There will be times God will ask us to do the impossible. Say yes. There are times we are asked to visit others, even in the midst of our own need. Say yes. There are times the Holy Spirit will touch us and led us to testify. Say yes. There are times we will be called to ponder and treasure; the words and the deeds, the circumstances the people who bring us the love of God. Say yes, yes -- let us learn to treasure how God is working in our midst through all that is around us. As we learn to treasure we will be able to recognize the true Treasure, Christ Jesus, as we welcome him anew on Christmas Day.
Pray: "Jesus, thank you for the disciples in our lives who teach us and support us. We thank you for the example of your mother, Mary. May we learn to ponder well, and to treasure deeply all that draws us closer to you."